PSN Spotlight - Johns Creek Gladiators Football On That "Good Energy"
“The energy has been good,” that’s what Johns Creek Gladiators football head coach Matt Helmerich says about his players and how they have responded to being able to have full participation in football related activities this past spring and throughout the summer after last season being impacted by COVID-19 and limiting activities last season. “It’s night and day and I know every coach is probably saying it , but they feel blessed to be out here, you know all the years, we took it for granted,” Helmerich said, adding, that he feels this year’s group is the hardest working he’s had in his five years leading the program. “Starting in January, these guys have really gotten after it and it’s carried over into the summer and we’ve had a lot of good things happen this summer as well so the energy has been unbelievable,” Helmerich said.
Heading into his fifth season as head coach of the Gladiators, Helmerich has led Johns Creek into the Georgia High School Association post season three of four seasons and says community support has played a major role in helping shift the Gladiators into playoff program. “The community really rallied around football, they wanted a winning team,” Helmerich stated and adding that from the local community to the school’s administration, everyone coming together to see the student athletes succeed has helped the Gladiators program in a big way including more players continuing their academic and athletic careers on the next level thanks to more scholarship offers.
And with the start of the regular season just a few weeks away, Coach Helmerich says one of the most important things for his team is simply, “just having time together”. “Working out and having a little bit of time to watch some film, get with their position coaches, get up on the board, things we just didn’t get to do last year,” Helmerich said. To which, the Gladiators have been able to get full time in with new defensive coordinator, Ryan Douglas, who Helmerich says has been able to take advantage of the full spring and summer to implement some new things for the Gladiators defense. Johns Creek will open up the 2021 season on August 20 when they take on Gainesville in the annual Corky Kell Classic.